Helena Batalion Farbiarz, aka Helen Farber, a resident of Eureka Springs, was born April 18, 1916 in Stryj, Galicia (Poland), the daughter of Natan Lebersfeld and Frimet (Fanny) Batalion. She departed this life peacefully, Wednesday, Dec. 3 in her home at the age of 92.
In her early years, Helena was active in sports clubs and qualified for the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the broad jump. She went to university in Krakow, Poland to study medicine, a rarity for a Jew, much less a woman, with the goal of becoming a surgeon. World War II intervened and through amazing strength and courage she survived numerous imprisonments and torture at the hands of the Nazis.
She immigrated to America in 1951 with her husband and two sons and was active in immigrant societies in the 50s and worked as a volunteer in numerous institutions and hospitals for the mentally and physically disabled.
In 1961, she helped found a family business with her husband, which they successfully ran for 27 years. Helena retired to Florida, in 1988 and came to Eureka Springs in 2001, immediately fitting into the eclectic community, which welcomed her with open arms.
Her bright smile, cheerful disposition and "grandmaisms" were a joy to everyone who knew her -- "Look at the sky, gorgeous!" Quick with a compliment and a kiss, she will be missed and remembered by all whose lives she touched. Her strength of will and positive attitude were an inspiration to all. Her story will live on.
She leaves her son, Natan Ranaga Farbiarz of Eureka Springs; two grandsons, Mayim Alpert of Prague, Czech Republic and David Farber of Eureka Springs; her granddaughter, Celest Farber of Springdale; her niece, Lea Batalion Dror of Haifa, Israel and her children, Carmela, Udi, Natalie and Ron; her nephew, Nathan Batalion of New York and his children, Shirra and Aaron; and her sister-in-law, Simone Batalion of Frankfurt, Germany.
Helena was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Ignac Farbiarz, aka Irving Farber, two sons, Saul Francis Farbiarz and Chester Farbiarz and her brother, Sam Batalion. She was the sole survivor of a proud lineage.
A memorial gathering will be held at 561 CR 302 (Rock House Road), Thursday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. with a celebration of her life to follow into the evening. Food and drinks will be welcomed.
In lieu of flowers, plants, etc., please consider a donation to the building fund of the Temple Shalom in Fayetteville. Call Ranaga at (479) 981-3288 for details.